Many management scholars have focused on the thought of adapting national culture in international business. It is usually defined as a series of basic assumptions that an organization has developed in learning to handle with its external environment and its internal functioning. These assumptions have been found to be effectual and valid and are therefore communicated to new employees. Adapting foreign culture makes every international organization unique and bonds members of an organization together.
The culture in the organization verifies what behaviors and ideas are acceptable and appropriate. Culture is the yardstick used to assess many behaviors and ideas, and it provides a foundation for the development of goals and strategies. For instance, an organization where one of the basic postulations is that people perform best under minimal control and supervision and need independence to excel would consider heavy-handed management techniques used by one of their new deplorable managers.
Furthermore, such an organization would be more expected to select a training program for developing participative management skills more than one focusing on processes for developing power. A case in point is the much-publicized W. L. Gore and Associates, with headquarters in Newark, Delaware, that makes wire and cable, medical products, Gore-tex fibers and fabrics, and industrial filter bags. One of the distinctive characteristics of the firm is its casualness and the absence of hierarchy and status symbols. Employees and managers do not have prescribed titles, and creative problem solving is extremely encouraged.
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As a result, the use of status symbols that would designate a hierarchy is considered highly inappropriate. This instance demonstrates how a basic cultural assumption concerning factors that leads to effectiveness is used to find out which behaviors are acceptable (Jimmieson, Nerina L. , Katherine M. White, and Megan Peach, 2004, C1). Culture and business structure and strategy are inseparable, since structure is one of the major manifestations of culture. The culture is one of the factors that determine the relationship between employees and managers.
As with the other elements, however, the culture may also be the result of structure. For example, in a highly centralized organization, the implementation of participative management and employee empowerment will be impossible without a change in the structure. Thus, the two elements are totally intertwined (Skinner, Denise 1. 2004, 5). Both company culture and national culture recount to a persons’ effectual behavior (Fisher, Glen 1990, 98). Working in national culture means working in a different cultural environment.
As one national culture might interpret eye contact, smiling, happy, individual space, touching, punctuality, and arousing responses in a certain way, another culture might infer a totally opposite meaning from the similar behavior (Moran, Robert T. and Stripp, William G. , 1991). The deepest level of a culture is the least visible part, its value system. It becomes apparent indirectly, while working with foreigners. Basically, national culture inspires every feature of social behavior and manipulates communication style, personality, character, inspiration, knowledge and cognition.
There is a widespread body of work on cultural differences in communication styles in the linguistics and cultural anthropology literature (Reine, P. P. V. & Trompenaars, F, 2000, 237-243). Devoid of knowledge of the dissimilarities in national culture and mentality, without knowing how your colleague thinks, believe and proceed, or which communications and conflict-solving patterns these pertain, you run the risk of misunderstanding your business partners, and thus of jeopardizing your achievement both abroad as well as in locally-based inter cultural teams (Fisher, Glen 1990).
It is simply through the cultural, personal and communication understanding of the responsible persons that international assignments and company start-ups abroad can be prohibited from becoming failures. Cultures give people with ways of judgment, ways of considering, investigation, and interpreting the world. Thus the similar words can mean dissimilar things to people from different cultures, even when they talk the same language. When the languages are dissimilar, and translation has to be used to communicate, the prospective for misunderstandings increase (Fisher, Glen 1990).
“Communication is effectual when the person interpreting the message attaches a meaning to the message comparable to what was intended by the person transmitting it. ” (Fisher, Glen 1990). The national culture in an international organization endures gradual change as the organization adapts to diverse environmental and internal events. This gradual change is incremental and rarely entails significant deviation from established patterns. Effecting massive organizational change is therefore very strenuous. Changing the culture of an organization is as hard as changing an individual’s personality.Moreover, strong cultures will be more defiant to change than weak ones (Tony Proctor, and Ioanna Doukakis. , 2003, 268).
• AAhad M. Osman-Gani & Zidan, S. S. “Cross-Cultural Implications of Planned on-the- job Training. Advances in Develpoing Human Resources, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 452-460. November, 2001. • Callahan Madelyn R. 1989. “Preparing the New Global Manager”. Training & Development Journal, March, pp. 28-32. • Fisher, Glen (1990), International Negotiation: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Intercultural Press, Yartmouth, ME.